Paicines Ranch is pioneering agroecological solutions to regenerate our landscape through a biologically-oriented approach to farming. This regularly puts us at the edge of research-based knowledge regarding agricultural best practices in modern agriculture. This is particularly true as it relates to managing the inherent complexity of integrated cropping and livestock systems. As a result, our in-house research strives to provide relevant and accurate information to guide our practices and help us reach our goals of profitably growing nutritious food while enhancing the health of the ecosystem in which we operate.
To this end, we are excited to monitor whether we are moving towards or away from our goals in ways that are practical for farmers and ranchers. Paicines Ranch also partners with external organizations to advance the scope and relevance of our work. We are among the original members of the Point Blue Rangeland Monitoring Network, which does extensive third party monitoring across the ranch including birds, plant and soils. We were one of the first ranches in California to participate in the Soil Carbon Challenge with the Soil Carbon Coalition. We took our first baseline readings in the spring of 2011, and sampled additional sites in 2014 and 2017.
We also host academic studies at Paicines Ranch. Recent examples include investigations of:
- Dung beetle influence on soil carbon pool dynamics (UC Santa Cruz).
- Spatial variability of soil carbon on rangelands (UC Berkeley).
- The effects of soil health practices’ on the persistence of soil borne pathogens (UC Davis).
- Fungally-dominant compost extract applied to rangeland plantings (Center for Regenerative Agriculture & Resilient Systems at CSU-Chico).
We are already seeing meaningful expansion of perennial grasses on our rangelands and increases in soil carbon in our vineyard. As we continue to scale up our operation, we look forward to using research to improve all aspects of our work.